The SEC softball season opened up over the weekend. Let’s take a quick glance at how everyone stands after the first round of action.
Amid some postponements and cancellations due to weather, 11 of the 13 teams who play softball were able to see the field. Of those 11 teams, six of them left without a blemish.
Alabama leads the charge currently, sitting atop the conference with a 4-0 record. Head coach Patrick Murphy celebrated his 1,100th victory as head coach when the Tide swept Louisville on Saturday. They were also boosted by the great Montana Fouts, who tossed 11 shutout innings across two starts. This included a combined perfecto in Alabama’s opener versus Alabama State, the fifth perfecto in program history.
Auburn and Kentucky each finished the weekend out with 3-0 records. The Tigers were aided by the play of freshman Maddie Penta. The frosh right-hander threw two complete games, including a no-hitter in her first collegiate start. UK, meanwhile, swept Samford and the offense rocked the house, scoring 31 runs over the three games played.
Florida, Mississippi State and Tennessee each notched 2-0 starts to the year. UF’s Charla Echols earned SEC Player of the Week honors after she started off the year 6-for-6 at the dish. Echols smacked multiple extra-base hits in the two games played, as the junior stood out amongst a crowded field of great players and performances. Mississippi State won two versus Miami (OH) while the Vols scored two wins over Eastern Kentucky.
Mizzou grabbed three wins, but one loss prevented them from joining the ranks of the unbeaten. They defeated Memphis twice over the weekend, but split two games with 12th-ranked Florida State. They earned a hard luck 9-2 loss, but bounced back for a 9-5 win on Saturday. The Tiger offense scored 31 runs, and scored at least eight in three of the four games played. This was a very solid start to the season for Mizzou, who should again be a formidable foe in the SEC.
Elsewhere, LSU and Georgia are each 2-1 after the first weekend of action. The Fighting Tigers earned wins over McNeese and Kansas, while UGA. scored victories over South Alabama and UVA. UGA was also propped up by Co-Freshman of the Week, Sydney Chambley. Chambley hit a robust 5-for-6 from the dish, scoring two runs and driving in six. She also hit two triples in the victory over the Cavaliers, tying the program record for a single game.
Ole Miss was the lone squad to finish .500 over the weekend. The Rebels won 8-2 over UAB and 10-2 over Belmont, but fell 5-2 to Troy and 13-5 to aforementioned UAB a day later. Ole Miss was rather inconsistent, scoring eight and 10 runs in their wins, and two and five in their losses. And finally, Arkansas lost their only game played of the weekend 12-11 to 10th-ranked Oklahoma State.
Games are probably going to be in doubt this week due to storms and frigid temperatures encapsulating much of the Southern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. this week. So we’ll see if we get our first batch of midweek action, or if we’ll have to wait for the weekend.